Semple Stadium

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Semple Stadium
Tom Semple's Field
The Home of Hurling
Field of Legends
Thurles Sportsfield
Semple Stadium exterior 2.jpg
Semple Stadium
Location Thurles, County Tipperary, E41 C956, Ireland
Coordinates 52°40′56″N7°49′30″W / 52.68222°N 7.82500°W / 52.68222; -7.82500 Coordinates: 52°40′56″N7°49′30″W / 52.68222°N 7.82500°W / 52.68222; -7.82500
Public transit Thurles railway station
Owner Tipperary GAA
Capacity 45,690 (24,000 seated)
Field size145 x 90 m
Construction
Broke ground1910
Opened1910
Renovated1934
1968
1981
2007–2009
Website
tipperary.gaa.ie

The Semple Stadium is the home of hurling and Gaelic football [1] for Tipperary GAA and for the province of Munster. Located in Thurles, County Tipperary, it is the second largest GAA stadium in Ireland (after Croke Park), with a capacity of 45,690. [2] Over the decades since 1926, it has established itself as the leading venue for Munster hurling followers, hosting the Munster Hurling Final on many memorable occasions.

Contents

Facilities

Semple Stadium, looking west from the east seating area, 2006 Semple1.jpg
Semple Stadium, looking west from the east seating area, 2006

The main or 'Old Stand' of the ground (also known as the 'Ardán Ó Coinneáin' or 'Dr Kinane Stand') lies across from the 'New Stand' (also known as the 'Ardán Ó Riáin') both of which are covered. Behind the goals are two uncovered terraces known as the 'Town End' (also known as the 'Davin Terrace') and the 'Killinan End' (also known as the 'Maher Terrace') respectively. [3]

Currently the stadium has a capacity of 45,690 of which 24,000 are seated.

The Dome

The sports hall accommodates a full-sized basketball court suitable for national standard competition. The hall is also lined for badminton, volleyball, and indoor soccer. It is used in the evenings and weekends by the Tipperary hurling and football teams for training and on match days, the building is used to accommodate GAA and sponsor guests for corporate lunches and functions. It has also been used as a music venue.

Future development

In July 2018 Tipperary County Board prepared to submit plans to Tipperary County Council to see the Kinnane stand redeveloped into a multi-purpose facility.

The proposal would see the “Old Stand” as it is known to many, have a second level created over the concourse at the back of the stand. The half nearest the Killinan End terrace will be dedicated to players and will include a full-sized gym, physio room, stats/analysis room plus changing rooms and toilet facilities. The other half, towards the Sarsfields Centre side, would include a function room to accommodate up to 250 people, with adjoining bar and kitchen facility for catering. The development will also include a new corridor leading to a new VIP enclosure area in the Kinnane stand. The estimated cost of the project is €5 million. [4]

The planning application for the development was lodged with Tipperary County Council in April 2019. The planning application also includes reconfiguration of the seating area and modifications to the ground floor, including turnstiles, the construction of a new exit gate, and three service cores providing access to upper floor levels, which will include wheelchair-accessible turnstiles. Wilson Architecture in Cork was commissioned to help put together the planning application. [5] Planning permission was granted in April 2020. [6]

History

Semple Stadium, north-east corner Semple Stadium north east 01.jpg
Semple Stadium, north-east corner

The grounds on which Semple Stadium is built were formerly known as Thurles Sportsfield. The site was offered for sale in 1910 at the wish of Canon M.K. Ryan and was purchased by local Gaelic games enthusiasts for £900. To meet the cost of the purchase, an issue of shares was subscribed by the townspeople. The grounds remained in the hands of the shareholders until 1956 when they were transferred to the Gaelic Athletic Association.

In 1934 in anticipation of the All-Ireland Hurling Final being held in the grounds to mark the golden jubilee of the Association, extensive improvements were made to bring the field requirements up to the demands which a crowd of up to 60,000 would make. The embankments around the field were raised and extended and the stand accommodation was also extended. However, the jubilee final was held in Croke Park and it was another 50 years before the Stadium would host the long-awaited All-Ireland final as a showpiece to mark the centenary.

In 1968 further developments took place when the Dr. Kinane Stand was completed and opened. In 1971 the stadium was named after Tom Semple, famed captain of the Thurles "Blues". He won All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship medals in 1900, 1906 and 1908. The Ardán Ó Riáin opposite the Kinane Stand and the terracing at the town end of the field were completed in 1981 at a cost of £500,000. This development and the terracing at the Killinan end of the field were part of a major improvement scheme for the celebration of the centenary All-Ireland Hurling Final between Cork and Offaly in 1984.

Dublin v Kerry in the quarter-finals of the 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship was held at Semple Stadium. [7]

In April 2006 Tipperary County Board announced an €18 million redevelopment plan for the Stadium. The three-year project aimed to boost capacity to over 55,000, as well as providing a wide range of modern facilities such as corporate space concessions, dining and changing areas within both main stands. There were also plans to upgrade the standing terraces and install a modern floodlighting facility. [8] Phase one of the upgrade project, upgrading the Kinnane Stand side of the stadium, involved expenditure of €5.5 million.

On 14 February 2009 the new state of the art floodlights were switched on by GAA President Nickey Brennan before the National Hurling League game against Cork. [9] [10]

In 2016, Hawk-Eye was installed in the stadium and used for the first time during the Munster Championship quarter-final between Tipperary and Cork. [11]

An architectural consultancy has been appointed to lead a design team, tasked with preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of Semple Stadium.

Music festival

The Féile Festival, ran from 1990 to 1994 (and returned in 1997 for one day), was held at Semple Stadium. At the height of its success, an estimated 150,000 people attended the festival, which was also known as "The Trip to Tipp". [12] Irish and international artists participated, including The Prodigy, The Cranberries, Blur, Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Rage Against the Machine, The Saw Doctors and Christy Moore.

The Féile Classical Concerts took place at Semple Stadium in September 2018. Line up included Irish musical acts that played in the 1990s at the Féile festivals. [13] Named as Tipp Classical, it will return in September 2019. [14]

Transport

Rail

Semple Stadium is a five-minute walk from Thurles railway station. The station is on the Dublin to Cork main rail line with connections to Limerick and Tralee lines. Irish Rail operates 'GAA Specials' to the station on the date of certain matches at Semple stadium. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Thurles Town in Munster, Ireland

Thurles is a town in County Tipperary, Ireland. It is located in the civil parish of same name in the barony of Eliogarty and in the ecclesiastical parish of Thurles. The cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly is located in the town.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a Gaelic games stadium in Cork, Ireland. It is the home of Cork GAA. The venue, often referred to simply as The Park, is located in Ballintemple and is built near to the site of the original Cork Athletic Grounds. The stadium opened in 1976 and underwent a significant two-year redevelopment before reopening in 2017.

Tipperary GAA county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland

The Tipperary County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) or Tipperary GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Tipperary and the Tipperary county teams.

Thomas Semple was an Irish hurler who played as a half-forward for the Tipperary senior team.

The 1987 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 101st staging of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, the Gaelic Athletic Association's premier inter-county hurling tournament. The championship began on 24 May 1987 and ended on 6 September 1987.

2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final Football match

The 2009 Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final was a hurling match played on 12 July 2009 at Semple Stadium, Thurles, County Tipperary. It was contested by Tipperary and Waterford. Tipperary claimed their third Munster Championship of the decade, beating Waterford on a scoreline of 4-14 to 2-16, a 4-point winning margin. Overall, this was Tipperary's thirty eighth Munster Senior Hurling Championship.

The Tipperary County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Tipperary and the Tipperary county teams.

The 2011 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 123rd staging of the All-Ireland championship since its establishment by the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1887. The draw for the 2011 fixtures took place on 7 October 2010. The championship began on 14 May and ended on 4 September 2011. Tipperary were the defending champions.

2012 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

The 2012 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 125th staging of the All-Ireland hurling championship since its establishment by the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1887. The draw for the 2012 fixtures took place on 6 October 2011. The championship began on 19 May 2012 and ended on 30 September 2012.

The 2012 season was Declan Ryan's second year in charge of the Tipperary team, the second year of his initial two-year term since succeeding Liam Sheedy. In January the management appointed Paul Curran of Mullinahone as new captain and Pádraic Maher of Thurles Sarsfields as vice captain for 2012 season. On 6 February 2012, forward Lar Corbett announced his withdrawal from the Tipperary hurling panel for the 2012 season due to work commitments. On 13 May 2012, it was announced by Tipperary that Corbett had returned to the Tipperary Senior Hurling panel. On 24 June he made his comeback coming on as a substitute in the first half against Cork in the 2012 Munster Hurling Semi-Final as Tipperary won by 1–22 to 0–24.

The 2013 season was Eamon O'Shea's first year as manager of the Tipperary senior hurling team. On 25 September 2012, he succeeded Declan Ryan as manager. A panel of 26 players was announced in December 2012 to prepare for the Allianz Hurling League. In February Shane McGrath was appointed as captain for the 2013 season.

The 2016 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 129th staging of the All-Ireland championship since its establishment by the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1887. It is the top tier of senior inter-county championship hurling.

The 2016 season was Michael Ryan's first year as manager of the Tipperary senior hurling team.

2017 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

The 2017 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 130th staging of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship since its establishment by the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1887. The championship began on 23 April 2017 and ended on 3 September 2017. The draw for the championship was held on 13 October 2016 and was broadcast live on RTÉ2.

The 2018 season was Michael Ryan's third and final year as manager of the Tipperary senior hurling team.

The 2019 season was Liam Sheedy's first year in charge since returning as manager of the Tipperary senior hurling team, having been previously in charge from 2008 to 2010.

The 1991 Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final was a hurling match played on 7 July 1991 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. It was contested by Cork and Tipperary. The final finished in a draw with a scoreline of 4-10 to 2-16. Tipperary captained by Declan Carr and managed by Bab's Keating won the replay by 4-19 to 4-15 on 21 July in Semple Stadium after coming back from nine points down, Cork had led by 3-13 to 1-10 with just a quarter of the game remaining. Aidan Ryan's late goal into the corner of the net sparked a pitch invasion from the Killinan End. Cork has a 2-8 to 1-7 lead at halftime in the replay.

The 2009 season was Liam Sheedy's second season in charge of the Tipperary senior hurling team. Tippeary won the Munster championship, defeating Waterford 4-14 to 2-16 in the final. They went on to reach the All-Ireland final but lost to Kilkenny 0-23 to 2-22.

References

  1. https://tipperary.gaa.ie/tipperary-gaa/semple-stadium/ [ bare URL ]
  2. "Semple Stadium Information". Tipperary.gaa.ie. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  3. "Semple Stadium Seating Plan". Ticketmaster.ie. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  4. "Plans at an advanced stage for multi-million euro investment in Thurles GAA facilities". Nenagh Guardian. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  5. "Approval on hold for Semple Stadium plan". Irish Examiner. 13 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  6. https://www.rte.ie/amp/1129247/ [ bare URL ]
  7. "2001: A Semple Odyssey for Dublin and Kerry". RTÉ Sport . 3 May 2020. The draw that year had a major headline act as the reigning All-Ireland champions, Kerry, were drawn to face Dublin. That was just as well because the rest of the draw threw up three games we had seen already. Roscommon and Galway; Derry and Tyrone; Meath and Westmeath. They had already played each other in their respective provinces... The fact that this game was being played in at Semple Stadium added a huge novelty factor to the serious business of Dublin against Kerry.
  8. "Semple Stadium set to get €18m facelift". Irish Examiner. 21 April 2006. Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  9. "Tipperary 2–15 Cork 0-09". RTÉ Sport. 14 February 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  10. "Switching on of Floodlights at Semple Stadium". Hoganstand.com. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  11. "Hawkeye set for first use at Semple Stadium". RTÉ Sport. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. "Tipperary Star", "Trip to Tipp"". tipperarystar.ie. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  13. https://www.feileclassical.ie/ [ bare URL ]
  14. https://tippclassical.com/ [ bare URL ]
  15. Irish Rail main website
Preceded by
Croke Park
Dublin
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
Final Venue

1984
Succeeded by
Croke Park
Dublin